Brands shouldn't be scared of Halloween - The Social Element

Brands shouldn’t be scared of Halloween

Halloween is a great opportunity to show off your creativity and, ironically, humanise your brand. There are loads of ways to inspire a creative response to the event.

Firstly, considering the nature of the event – ie. a bit of fun – you can scare us or make us laugh.

This genius short film from Brooks Running back in 2016 did both by drawing us into a classic zombie movie chase then turning the tables when the victim takes refuge in a shoe shop. It’s funny as hell.

Or why not create something beautiful like Lush Cosmetics. Social media’s proved fertile ground for anyone to show their creative chops with ‘before and after’ films. But what about your skin? Why of course, you need a cosmetics brand who gets it and has just the solution for you.

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Chocolate brand Reeses did something similar, by placing their brand front and centre of the big night. They realised that after a hard night’s trick or treating, chances are you end up with a load of sweets and treats you don’t necessarily like. So what if you could simply drop them into a vending machine and get Reeses in return? Perfect, if you like Reeses.

If you’re stuck for ideas, then keep it really simple and put a Halloween related word in front of your brand or product and see what happens. Bookings.com did just that with their Haunted Hotels piece, using it as a great way to show their range of products and scaring us witless in the process. Really well executed content, and bang on tonally. *Shudder*.

You can always make limited time offers like Chipotle did in partnership with Tik Tok this year, challenging people to make short videos of their Halloween transformations to win free burritos for a year. #Boorito. The Venn diagram for that one looks pretty darn good.

Or you could find a surprising hook from a little word play, like creative Zack Roif did with the least Halloween thing of all – fonts. No he didn’t send Comic Sans to the afterworld, it’s much funnier than that.

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If you want to explore something more emotional then don’t forget Halloween is a great way for families to bond. Perfect for encouraging parents to make memories with their kids before they’ve discovered embarrassment. Bear in mind however, there are people like Neil Patrick Harris’ family out there taking things to an entirely new level. They don’t just get Halloween, they ARE Halloween.

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Don’t give up though, because hope lies in the kids, and judging by this year’s efforts the youth are keen to play a more active part in Britain’s political landscape, with some cheeky scamps dressing us as PM Boris Johnson. Whichever way you lean politically, they’re the voters of the future so ignore this twist on what young people think is scary at your peril.

If you’re feeling brave then why not prank a rival like Burger King loves to do with McDonald’s? In 2016 they dressed one of their restaurants as a ghost McDonald’s, and topped this the following year by offering 500 Whoppers to anyone who came in store dressed as a clown. Because clowns are scary.

Or you could try pranking the public, though standards are quite high if you look at this great stunt by Ford back in 2014 when they created ‘the scariest car wash in the world’. Almost as scary as parking rates in central London.

Or maybe try the reverse and be the voice of reason in these ‘anything goes’ times, like Budweiser did this year asking people to enjoy their Halloween responsibly lest you end up in trouble with the law. Sensible, even if you do risk sounding like a party pooper.

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Picture credit: Anheuser-Busch

Whatever you do, remember it’s about fun and not just putting cobwebs on your existing content. And it should go without saying to think about the environment.

The World Economic Forum is onto the festival being wasteful, stating that in the US alone, most of the 900,000 tonnes of pumpkin produced annually will be trashed. And recent reports estimate that in the UK “Halloween costumes will create 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste this year”. That is scary.

So whatever you do, be entertaining, be useful, or be booooo-tiful.

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